Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Cancer New Moon Solar Eclipse
A year of packing and unpacking and verbs undone as everything will be undone, left to do, pieces and squares you’d save to sew Ma. “You look better in the blue” you’d write your mother, at first in Orange and then so far away in Denver, in between phone calls. Perhaps in the morning or at the end of the day you’d pull out your pen, paper, write a quick summary, the spin you’ll put on things for the public whoever. As H.D. says, “what woman who is a woman, who has pride, dignity, position, love, ever will let another so subtly undermine her (Palimpsest, p. 127). As all that.
all the candles on Dad’s birthday cake (his fortieth?)
burst into a single flame; white cement driveway
under the spill; Dad painted the picnic table green, covered
with striped table clothes; lamb on the broiler spit &
crackling and mint & one time Echo II over head
I go back to the van early by myself and fall asleep
wake to see the fireworks through the trees late twilight
at Lake Erie like the Zee; concrete balustrades at
“Almost Island”—iron ore and sunfishes too remote
I caught none; we are relaxant in 60’s dress shirts at
HoJo’s—crisp hotdogs & Mom and Bruce, or Dad and
Bruce fight, everyone fights & we wait while Mom
does something adult she’d been wanting to do;
once there was a fight she had permission; occasional
adventures that are not performance; covet blow-up Sinclair Oil
Brontosaurus (Brontosauri?) you can sit on, float Ness
in waves; we buy gas at the red Pegasus & have small
sea monster float rings you get at Tops or Sears
Perhaps somewhere in the words the other Cleveland is allowed,
not listed in the Yellow Pages; not even mine but
a brief spell, absorbed simple, sediment layer or slide in sequence
is loose granular “I can change a fact” is like saying;
written is an attempt to leak transport factors
given serial structure of social movement, its edifice drag;
in line for Salk (snakes the green grass around
a square in best clothes) but out the back door
that civil society forgets; two younger kids look
up from the dirt lot my Sunday suspended pants
interracial after church inside on sofas & Dad’s laugh
screen door lilts a grey angelic into the dim lit doesn’t it,
we go away from Cleveland into a ringing
I don’t know how to play with.
Sam’s birthday caesarean twenty-four years ago I see around the surgical screen, the doctor sits Sam up a second inside Cindy’s belly and then pulls him free—his little purple scrotum & fierce birdlike squawks; tough flattened nose that will be adult dramatic.
I am repacking his stuff so as to store downstairs in ever process by which different parts of a life separate or are disconnected into portions. I throw out two bags of receipts, batteries, combs from college in glean. A slow digestive process.
I am not dreaming nor vision but content I suppose. Worry this large express has become over-thick and no longer gives. Are there other, more impent tasks. Is this thought enough or just knocked out as serial takes over structure remorseless.
They say memory is a stain
left by chemicals in flesh
moss etch writ arroyo—fossil in
we are forced and allowed—
a deep feel wells after a bottomless drop
What weaves us across in hands?
a sympathetic give in early rooms
assumed shelter, “world” awn of her tall
skirted body tower
in the skyscrape
we hope sometime to make whole
what’s room specific and wallpapered dim
a picture window allows
a narrow outside
and no escape from the dark
Not so often in the front room that was Dad’s
but between kitchen and bedroom down the hall,
bath to the left, the closet of clothes, the back
and forth, long legs and black Joan of Arc
haircut had become style; in limestone and lake—
foreign skies of a more desolate North than glacier,
outside the academy of autumns & grey-yellow lit
Holyoke poet’s distressed;
block of St. John the Divine caught in your throat
where all Manhattan turned an axis quarter East
that even here life was short,
reduced to dream in realization—
four shirts from five yards of madras
and watercolor eggs hidden in the mown grass.
A seventh of a 360 degree circle is a fraction that repeats, infinite unresolution between each fragment, edge that widens as un dreamt before rooms become possible the farther you fall. Is strange religious aspect/gift for astrologers “into the mystic” and definite outside of the 2 and 3 dance that follows first step “outside” at 5 with the dazzling brocade of 6. 2 and 4 keep establishing (2, 4, 8) a note that the next disturbs even more intensely than before. Blues key in seventh is bent at the top and unresolves perfect for endless circling verses you throw to the left.
A family of seven is combination of two primary and five secondary is strange especially when gender scripts follow prior generation (mom and her sister, dad and his brother) that Mom writes her mother “I am worried that David doesn’t have a role. He has the best qualities of Bruce and Ed, but no social role” perhaps not being able to imagine the insertion of change into the dyadic familiar to her. I am the “not middle” (because there is none for seven, and we are all between Mom and Dad) who has to take the whole thing outside, out a long way, to disperse what’s over accumulated no one understands.
Certainly Orestes, a bad role, chased by flies. “I’d rather not but someone has to”.
The angles and doubles repeatedly escalate and cancel. Someone else always enters the room, and the whole set turns a quarter of a circle.
I suppose is why Rudhyar’s work on lunation cycles and Yeats on the phases of the moon made at least sense, a starting place for undoing the “not” I am consigned.
I just allowed myself to go further
into a disreputable Bohemia you skirted
from the safe side of the Hudson;
became tumerous the far side and isolate
Indiana field the ocean a long way from
the ignored particular stores
no one stitched together but loose stapled,
noir to go, attenuated avenues too narrow,
up by the bigger town, for the sun.
Dad’s Ansel Adams prints so smooth
no gone Adriatic Greece or Black East
We walked in baths of oil instead
on a black-and-white moon.
What America between us you had escaped from
was left to me to solve, against the commodified grain—
your Lower Saxony dream, after all, was mission
as the harvest failed, as the vines turned black—
that in the small places at hand, the close plain
and knuckled delft, fences strewn with agrimony,
where, despite the busier cities, the same hours pass—
you said “dream this possible steppe, so broad
a life, on the broader stairs; let grace time your departure—
nothing else will take you higher than the same
wind that spends the flowers.” We, who are not equal in pain,
feel the difficult weight of the sun that stops us, you
left me to, like Ma-chik, heaped offering the fields require
I thought was duty to be a difference.
two dream encounters:
I am at a conference; it is evening and we are out at a beach. I hear a plaintive cry and lift a grate. There is an ostrich in a basement well. Out along the beach Ewa Chrusceil, a Czech poet. I go up that way and she comes out in a new green tube dress. All the clothes she has worn have been nicely cut, clean though one was complex with wraps and buttons like stones. I tell her I’ve liked the clothes and she says she made them herself. A woman I am with now comes by, opens a door to leave. checks in, not Jehanne, but older—
at a Buddhist talk; Richard brings Kalu Rimpoche who is a guest and another monk. I get tense a little or feel badly. After the talk I am about to leave. We are in what are like indoor gymnasium stands, at the top if they were closed & Kalu Ripoche says, :”Hey” I realize I haven’t said goodbye and prostrate. He moves farther down the seat to the far end and I follow. He says what was that with Richard & I explain oh, that’s my feeling. It is not that I don’t like Richard, but that when I see him I understand I am now in some ranked position and inside that upsets me
he leans back and says, “well, you know what I have to say about those feelings, about that, tomorrow is as wide as today”; we talk some more and he begins a fairly typical Buddhist exegesis and I make a moue and start to try to explain my problems, and he nods and says “the machine”. I say, “you mean in the language/argument, its mechanical nature” and he nods. we talk a bit more & I explain insight and how, when you have that you know there is nothing wrong and can totally affirm being & he nods and then we talk about how fleeting that sense can be; I get up to go and we embrace and I remind him I took refuge with him in the 1980’s and he says “so long ago” and then something about how the whole environmental thing hadn’t even begun and I think he is referring to global warming.
I have to find my car and I parked it back in town. We are back at the beach town I’ve been dreaming and I have the problem of the highway overpasses that make sense coming in, but don’t seem to have an exit going back out. I walk off and up to a hotel to get directions & wake up realizing this part of the dream will be a bit repetitive and I don’t have the energy to work through each part.
[sense of an ideal heroic woman by the way that H.D.’s text has sparked; a new comforter within, that other I might realize]
that he stole in at night, through a window
that the child was taken, that downstairs a radio made a copse
the babe lay outside the light of, (possession marked) above the ceiling
the girls followed the story closely, just down the road NJ backporch
a shared sky; cut out paper dolls from the backpage; looked at
“We are already Double-Quick, Sailors” Dr. West’s toothpaste
between the day’s report, a man lurks outside Fat Jane and Slim Jane
they go to the edge of the lawn and search for clues; hold up trash
The One Vacuum Cleaner That’s Absolutely Different (I’m gonna tell)
Don’t Sun-Starve Your Baby costs only $26.50, B-J-B is a God Send
to Nervous Women; they are seven, then nine, “what does all this have
to do with sex?” they think, the guy across the windowsill,
a spirit of the Delaware Water Gap but trouble TOOK THE BABY
“I still want to go down those stairs, I am asking for it.
Scheduled afternoon w/blessed flutters of Indiana
they call “heat lightening” in the dim screen
is an attempt, I’d rather not be difficult;
I don’t belong to this community & cross the stage
anywhere is actually free, but I am trying not to hurt
is asking too much & in the midst.
“Here’s some chocolate lonely kid” tossed to the top bunk
I am back in a time with avenues, invisible currents
juxtapose to a creek we hike along amphitheatres,
seek newts under slid brown stones
under a performance sky we already expect
to be vast small town everywhere steepled,
and though ordinary, to be an object that, understood properly
would be a suitable example.
Depression starts the day & its too hard to share a kitchen but too dramatic to lie down; I can’t find the beginning and try several times to start over. Drink ice water, but still don’t start the laundry until the sun is gone past the clothesline. Drive from store to store by least efficient route.
The sky sheds grit from a black hole torn in it.
I wash it off my face each night & the day’s rain doesn’t sweep the air clean. It must come from above the clouds, the dust of the air breaking down. In the paper there’s a story about Natural Gas as cleanest fossil fuel we are still going to exhaust (though its true something somewhere is burnt to run our purring ‘lectric cars).
Power, from Old French povoir and poier as unattested scions of Old Latin potëre “to be able” but superceded by posse to be puissant, to have in your possession, a possible.
Isn’t what makes does, but holding ever more furious, the sky slack before lightening—in a word, the old celibacy tactic you ask me, we should be done with.
a gathering of white shambling and tambourine ribbons
on North flank of turquoise Mt Taylor in the pretty school bus
I get off to ride in a pick-up with the road warriors float
between places and time a hawk head staff dowses
the road to Shiprock goes in and out of sheets of glass
sometimes occur as rain & the desert soft green April
a Papago hero-shaman walked to Phoenix to meet us
sits in the front seat his black hat and anger of the booted young
we come out of a cloud smoked yellow & the tents spread in a pasture
people go off to do drugs to pray I watch a dispersal
this is the wrong world and the black uranium smeared arroyo
is a bad spring for strange; spark and blue jean silhouette Ford
no peace in polis consensus I, suspect, go off to work in the children’s camp
is my best work to be done decision there amidst misplanned augury
Then our thoughts crossed and we looked up at each other
in a quick, prosaic & looked back fascination, kept catching
your eye, because tired and signals exposed and over-radiant
where were our bodies, beside obvious?
we devise attics for “what’s mine” that’s beyond we are
all over each other’s stuff—your eye smears my desire,
gas lit interior corridors & cement basement bomb shelters segue
with the ceiling, the last war, (I flew across the room—
we were walking towards the day bed
and our bodies decided “no” for us). Perhaps you
do no want to sit down next to me after all. “He fixed me
with his eyes” doesn’t mean “I was repaired”
a film loop got jammed & one frame repeated stutter
a ghost boy in a hall, looked at the portraits
and then you walked away for awhile.
From “Youth in an Austrian Town” (I.Bachmann):
The children are in love but do not know with what. They talk in gibberish, muse themselves into an indefinable pallor, and when they are completely at a loss they invent a language that maddens them. My fish. My hook. My fox. My snare. My fire. You my water. You my current. My earth. You my if. And you my but. Either. Or. My everything… My everything… They push one another, go for each other with their fists and scuffle over a counter-word that doesn’t exist.
I had a role, Ma: to be elusive, whether Puck
or Heisman should-a-been Sayers,
“to be ahead of time”, or step out from between
your focus—or relentless coast and speed—
knew change and the only-path of “transformation”:
did you know the story of Proteus, Ma,
that Hercules pulled up from the water,
that only in the air, on a chart,
could change be stabbed to the heart?
The roe disappears from the lattice works
into the brown hills—voice of the beloved—
and cannot be pulled up by the roots.
Held in your gaze I was a fire destructive,
could live only where instead of water
you fed me more withering air.
Thus stabbed against the sky.
What was still mucus was breath between us &
became yours to use, homunculus of ginger or calendar
the seasons pass in piles of clothes and offsprung,
navel charts used as skirt patterns
taped palimpsest to the window as catholic gauze would
limps the room in browns, never darker than an eye—
your green frank observant at attempts to sing was most wide
this sitting charity of Mater Nal, alchemist residue
of ornamental children spread through endless halls
was the burnt out, smolder of the body’s under intellect
its suffuse, stubborn within the ambit of decades
given rose, given auburn sky to unmeasure and release,
undone escape of the child hours, and short rooms,
and the this body abrupted, serial swells.
Misery of being given to air travel today, I am thrown 10,000 feet into the air in a small metal tube with other uncomfortable creatures. Everyone seems hung over and slightly careless, and the last day’s heat, though slightly eased by a vast sea breeze, follows us to Boston. The great stumbles of rocks that Boston lies on almost immediately rise up from the Charles fens, dirt is scant and friable & the almost quarter moon hangs over the dismal neon of Burlington Mall where we have the rehearsal wedding.
I am among ghosts who imagine something can be salvaged from such comfort. Dear sweet ghosts. I am caught between wanting to tell them they are dead so they can untangle and depart, and the need to bless anyway that even here, with blood on the table and broken hours, they are so loyal to wed themselves. The most any of us can do.
J asks if I’d gone to Ed’s wedding & no
I was “Waiting for the End of the World”
down south of Houston mis-pronounced,
listened to the Oedipus Show for instructions
or “Angel of the Morning” cues just before
Susan walked in after me into the Rite Aid
or I had the same book as Tim—we both
on the way to woo dark-eyed &
“a minister, but not of an ordinary religion”
Susan’d said for the fifth time
when I shorthanded the splay of my natal stars
a long way into an ocean where a water stained jewel
ornament of liberation was tossed on my pillow
I divined—maybe Ed was sad or afterwards that was
a family story like rabies; perhaps I was afraid
the wedding vows would begin the speak
Egyptian rays I was obliged to ignore
as long as the signals were so strong
Cranberry and pine the narrow road swings through
distributed in that understory of shadows
doesn’t surprise me to realize you’d be here
you’d come back to glacier racked,
mill town Catholic artist lofts and thrift store
near the reservoir dam you turn off to see the sky—
paint was already mixed with quartzite you rubbed
your shoulder into before you died
flesh dispersed even before we walked three miles
spirit leaked into gravel where you’d
find you’d die into and be along
—Ah Ma almost all Massachusetts now—
if we are already dead where we most desired
and came in dream to be.
Barbara Guest’s biography of H.D. disappoints, but make my argument that American artist codes require that you “stand on your own”, and there will always be another person, a gal or black guy, to be a voice for that and get applause. Like responses to Rilke, an impatience with feelings and reliance on others (if not envy actual) and thus characterization of an intemperate weakness that must be there given evidence of ambition.
If we know this is an American thing, a soft version of what Ayn Rand marks a far horizon for, if we know we need and in our private worlds, with friends, rely, build alliances, if we know this stress on individual agency to be cant, dependent on the expression of an impossible ideal that is such a close ally of destructive commodity systems, if we know we put our “queer shoulder” to the wheel for America’s worst replication of store chain cancers—
then why the FUCK (has to be said) do we continue to demand this of each other?
Isn’t it that each of us actually likes the small freedom to use another—to put another in bondage—tied up over there where they can’t speak back since you can say “go up”?
The already dead in you, beloved, is still visible in your eyes
that you would not live beyond the first absence you awoke to—
beside you on the train, where the day ends, where we try to touch.
But, where am I dead but in you mother? Isn’t the whole stone of this music
a way of saying I too am dead, already dead, dead before you died?
In me is the shore of waking—I am one of those who burst into flame,
others become aware of the sounds of creeks, others become in answer to scent,
know blooming as arrival rather than fort da, are never lost in alteration since lead is told.
some arrive in equal parts—colored raiment and effervescent costal;
dense algebras that are known as sediment—
in your world, Ma,
whose body I was a pebble of, whose skin almost collect,
already dead and yet
the sun through the window behind you
all around us
Worn down grass below Jack’s headstone
is like the place gets worn brown by a pitcher
the length of a kid’s step and walk around &
someone could sleep, rolled up in the earth;
in an open space, without cemetery trees so the stars
pour down into, and the weed spars and crabgrass
are sunburnt; was the fall I moved here he died
& was collect; I was in a VW van in an adjacent
plot & his time had gotten old & chino & fade
I had no idea yet & yet threw the ball at
the strike zone yellow taped to the chimney & wore the grass
was Vic Davalillo little guy in left field motions
while below, the old man holds his old wife close
sister of his death he was living.
Tom and I throw ourselves out into Boston and walk, hop a bus down Mt. Auburn to Harvard Sq talking about Vajrayogini and sadhana practice I am not supposed to say. Tom is beautiful as ever, and I am a bit of a mess but not & we have lunch—I tell him I was such a mess in my twenties and he says “oh I always thought you wanted to be that way” (to be exciting, dramatic) and “I’m sorry for that” so direct, it amazing we have lived long enough to say that to each other. Even the beginnings of it.
Later we walk up to the tower in Mt Auburn Cemetery and look out over all Boston and talk about whether we’ll be able to have any control over our mind as we are dying. We go up the stone stairs inside like Tower of London and he tells me about taking a Khenpo there who complains about all the Christians and I say, “well that part about being saved is a drag; its off point” but I am otherwise more sanguine.
I want to say something about the Dalai Lama giving the Kalachakra next week in Washington D.C. (a mixed mandala if there ever was one); I have some mourn it’ll his last one and I should go, but know I won’t. Will pray thinking on it I hope at least a few people get married or find God & it’ll be better than that since he’s an angel we all issue and still hopes.
I died April 21st 1978. I dreamt I visited the black woman’s house.
A man was working in tall marsh canes wearing a colored shirt,
rosy against dark skin and green pants.
A different guy showed me the knife after I didn’t cross the bridge,
didn’t push past the priestess—for a moment
I heard a lace bandana and went down instead aside to listen
music of the river—
God is always more than what the myth is, more than fallen.
Broke in Amherst, like Emily, a long grave to wait for the body,
such graceful lily of the valley in sprays—
Broke over the leg of the Connecticut River, broke and spilled—
we return to the places where we at last died
until the body gives out is what prayer is.
That’s when I died & had no one to tell & couldn’t say.
Ah, Ma, how was I gonna explain that?
This is what it means to follow Orpheus into a darkness—
no one would return upwards into the necessary light
anyone would look back—life is always throwing itself this way
into the greater majesty only the dead recall—
long ago I made a place for the stove in my side, Ma—
I hid it there away from you—it was not your death;
though you leant in the steam of boiling water,
lured by the impatience of autumn—
it was too soon to go back to the school
where you first died, the voices of the other girls
distant when your eyes were too tired
and a part of your death was in the North you had yet
to come back to; the black Atlantic and marble coastal,
everlast pines you already knew.
Although a belly-dancer was let loose in Egyptian pastiche, fluffed her hair in moue & spectacularly offensive and uneasy young men made displays of unresolved fury that required the many surprisingly tall women to be victims, the wedding was a kind of gift Sharif and Larissa gave us, however vacantly an eye would offer itself in passing. A kind of July despite Best Buy we could live after.
We are thrown in small metal tubes again across the sky & get back home and its the evening sun that’s shining like a red rubber ball. Summer achieved aglow.
Am still getting angry in ways designed to shock is a bad sign
I talk patience a game & then get ugly letting folks know
no one wants to know or they already like I do and just wish someone’d
see ‘em work, their good hearts if not watchin’ and even
the irresponsible are deserve Lord I don’t want to—
I go boldin’ to show I got it tied down, can park my car
river I don’t want to get down into
don’t wanna drown my face, don’t wanna belong
hated learning how to swim, cold summer mornings &
dark mud-grey pond water I get a whiff of
anytime it rains early in the day
I thrash my way and don’t know how to breath
already sulk in “do it again”
I get in line pitiful.
I was entertaining (the blemish over the doorway
half hidden, half painted over) a dramatic solution
I was no longer a wife but no one was looking &
I knew how to pass and dutiful
I’d knit or speculate, a coat helped, there was always
another errand O I could drop you off
I liked driving even if I couldn’t see, it was civic
and I consumed proper exhumed and well-dressed;
it was all a very long play; I’d get tired but another scene would start
Ed would have bullied you or someone had won &
mostly it was better when you all read, quiet though
later the dreams may not have been worth it—
talk about unexpected doors opening and God’s angels
the door half hidden, half painted over
I shut against the night.
Ah I don’t write such clean burnished burst—am from some kind of enchantment that wants a more baroque, that is drawn by the long bells
trails of silk.
We are already dead forever and ever she says, she added to what Jack said about knowing we were okay that way, how he wished we knew that, all those golden haired illusion boys.
I put on Pattie Smith’s elegy to Mapplethorpe, “Coral Sea” on the way to meet Janet Holmes for coffee and talk about making books. I get back to find a quick note from Lisa and as ever get infused almost too bright to contain, drive around leaking as I buy groceries and pick up books by E.M. Butler at the library.
The desert remains a red line I’m so much more familiar with than town
out in the thin greens of spring I climb Superstitions east of Phoenix (already
symbol watt) round a butte they call someone’s “Needle”—in the desert scape there’s no water and bare—so inside and outside can balance here in ways not riverene
elsewhere under flow my footing and the Greek shadows of pines like a blue spell
I get around to the North where a canyon cuts East into a wilderness
I am at the rim of, on the far side teeth-shaped rocks line the canyon
are petrified people of the Third World who where caught in the floods
at the last emergence when the waters came up through the reed grass
in the overnight I make a profligate fire from a dead tree
and only here, where water is so scarce does the world cry
as tears well up in me, and I am somehow equal
I am a long way in the night from Massachusetts but feel close
the sky touches & so do I, from anywhere.
Depth of Reagan’s face is a lie I look
over my shoulder at the TV above the bar
is a small folded paper or dose—all I could
take of the first four years I was twenty
the radios talked to me about a “Street Parade”
lapped tide or car passed washes, the drum hush
call them bridges between choruses
where the gravity of the Greek tradition
roots lyric to understeady sea,
was gone to war again Contra expectation
actual a shift in business plan
required by the closure of Asian markets
your black economies make golf possible.
Some new commons.
the day begins I am already sad; therapy later with Jehanne leaves us both touchy; no one comes by and the sky is white with heat; I am over sensitive and/or unnecessarily suspicious with several people at the gym—essentially rabid as if painted by Francis Bacon—something batters my torso as if there was a buffeting high wind, psychic style
small story gives no example but wait
starved & dry Prometheus in a desert stable
must become rain without heat
an impossible task outside at hinge of fate
somewhere between the third and fourth word
we can be sure the reader gets lost, a slip, scar
marked gap that serves as awn, makes this image
clear is not conscience yet
hours would pass in my breath & drowse
get up and still be sitting in the shrine room
asserts the possibility of depth
in this way, long after my parents inability
I attempt to design my past
Allen, the war is not over and when you said that
what got spelt was an erasure I know you thought
kindness required a lie & its hard to be in the river
and not swim, hard to be a stone in the shoe
its admittedly a problem how to tell her “the emperor
has no clothes” without getting beaten—people who
collect rocks in shopping bags by the side of highways
have to be indulged, but there are so many bad imitators—
that’s another kind of love, putting on your shirt the way
Dad did or not sticking out your thumb, another way to put
desire aside at the risk of closeted cutting—
myth will be restrained one way or the other,
we carry the melting heart in our chests
but we have to stand on winds.
Heat is in its steep archaic god phase simply appall—that we can walk though it, even for five minutes from bar to car, midday, feels heroic and is different from the way cold drives you inside.
I am calmer today, organize papers and more or less able to pass though still observant about the way I mother others, what happens when their eyes go away or in.
No cable forces me out of the house to watch women’s soccer over lunch. Nice to be with other people & a game on.
a book is better than a sentence, time folded and folded,
the way a sword is made brighter and harder—a resistance
begins to hum as syntax loops, fashions small beaded knots
in the thin
is full of summer bodily dreams from a hill where I am already
dead, musing, red and amber light filtered, the fabric of the sheet
my breath is taken a long way away, body stuffed with words
today’s small desire riched up
I am only partly material
and what material I am prefers to imitate
river bed feels along my brow, body opened out on a porch
the difference between assigned class and shape
can be walked away from, but
in the long summer childhood cocoon
what I dreamt of was
To be displaced into the future we cannot be accommodated by,
except being that langen verse, except the rhythm and a rhyme
except that weight and weft already whisper “you are not
alone”—all of the dead in the ear are patient, must endure
what we will; the dreamt forward time her “tractors of tomorrow”
his Mache of heaven lit Braque and new Goth kilt,
their reconciliation, feast, my many mansions, your last hours,
never a ground nor asterisk Venus does
nor sound unstruck silence so full of sibilance a whole
dance must be found to illustrate a captive light—
no OK Corrals, no last Dodge
the sentence steps only next door, into the neighbor’s room
to get some ice—so briefly we gather ourselves
in the across we cannot will.
Surprised to read that you consider my visit with a daughter to be strange. I always had my kids in tow, being a nomadic single mother at the time. As I recall I was visiting nearby and came by to see the mystery of you for a few moments, because I had the opportunity. I thought we were friends.
We were friends. Only you were voracious for something that I did not in truth possess, and I always disappointed you.
Both of us mad with divinity, we had inspirations and adventures together. You were so psychic it was remarkable. The world spoke to you in tongues and by the looks of things she still does.
Good to see you happy. I love HD too, studied her with Anne at Naropa. Thanks for keeping me in the loop.
I write back (only a little edited for this):
When I read your memory of this I was struck by your sun/Jupiter openness and how much I enjoy/enjoyed that in you.
One of the reasons I have so connected with H.D. is that she writes over and over about personal relationships that are understood to be, at least in part, in psyche, and that she basically wrote over a specific crisis again and again. I identify with that, or at least get it very directly.
I have wanted to write about my early twenties--to find a form for telling just a piece of that time--for a long time; I am not sure I have found it yet, but "Goodnight Irene" piece has given me a structure to explore it a bit.
I express difficult feelings in the piece and am not always fair. Its a
complicated piece and involves voicing/mixing, and direct difficult tear in
You occupied/occupy a difficult place for me since I was opened to a mystery by our encounter. I’ve known for some time now that the mystery/spirit I entered into/was opened to was not you. You were, for awhile, her face, at least for me.
Its probably immodest or unclarifying, but one way to say it is that as apparently happens, I met God a bit in you. Of course I was voracious for that! (Rumi via Barks says something like “when the ocean comes to greet you, by all means, say hello!”)
I’ve come to think that one of the greatest gifts you gave me was that you
were so stubborn about who you were in relation to me. I had to admit the
difference between person and God, and that, as they say, has made all the
difference. Thank you for that and for the excellent sense of your heart.
At the time, I was very confused, sad I was such a bad, raw instrument, in a rush to get better so I could get a pass.
So, from my perspective, we were friends, and I remain deeply grateful to and loyal to the persons of that time.
Back to the text: there are times that I am still flailing away or caught up in “oh my God, get this—” I get inflated. “You” come off according to some projection that is not you. I don’t always know how to manage that, and, at times, the feelings were difficult. I know the "you" is constantly shifting (Ma, you, Mary, my anima, the Mayan gal in me that wants everyone to really understand death, etc, at times the uncooperative brothers and fathers).
When you came by the house, I was listening to a tape of a lama explicating the bodhisattva vows and, literally, he said, “when trouble knocks at your door, open it” and I heard your knock. As so often was the case between us, there was a front wave, and what was happening was happening all at once across time. I continue to be amazed to discover that I actually am aware across time, that I am broader than the present (or the present is broader than a slip in time).
Have you read the late H.D. fiction about her table work with this guy who war commander of the RAF and then began to channel towards the end of the war? By then she knows its not just romantic love, but work, and even then there is a glitch, something snaps or breaks, and I recognize what she is saying, the confusion of projection and work, and the desire to do good, to make peace, to shift some big piece on the board so so many people do not have to suffer. Oh my! (check out The Sword Went To Sea)
She was so loyal, had a great loyalty and love. I love that, on her gravestone her name is her married name, even though that relationship had floundered early, she was loyal to a particular fact.
Anyway, I always write so long and so thoroughly! Thank you for reading the piece. I hope its in some way fair to you, despite its so often my projection and speaking. I do continue this mad project of trying to put actual places of affordance, so that someone else might get to visit a mystery a few hours as I did.
As has been,
day after the reading circle passes in a hangover wash; I keep returning to bed in the aftershame—who didn’t talk, who didn’t get enough time, who is impatient that I am hung up about that or would project—
its like birthmarks or stains spread across nerve cells in actual tissue take these forms of response
Mom was a master at the half-correct characterization and thus a good lawyer as she could hang a line on someone’s surface apparent or literal and be done with that. Perhaps she knew it was all masks or, philosoph, saw a masque is real enough for accusation, real enough to hook a thread.
And yet, that far into the darkness, she sat with me anyway, and put up, didn’t she?
its hard that alone in the desert in deep quiet
is what allows me to feel close, when any closer
I would have to be more difficult, establish
fences and anti-cavalry objections in stone
broken tree, is a metaphor—but so is the membrane
between us we slowly pull apart, mucusoidal slippery
the weight of your want and its pull,
the weight of mine; fault that lies between
Quiet in the over airy drone and traffic
as best words for abandoned or “all abject”—
witnesses of the whale’s dissection
about us on the freeway in furtive landscaped—
here we are at BEST BUY again, afloat shimmer
on late afternoon heat waves lift we are apparent subject to
in prayer or without, as left mine shaft entrance temples
first ruins reminded of—
that we cannot escape weight into such rescue
as invisibility would prosper (is already in us &
not extractable as thought)
gestures of loyalty remain as avenues we
too casually relinquish, dependent on the costal
spectre, to somehow requite.
I sort/organize writing—typed journals from the 1980’s and 90’s, poem drafts from different eras I keep around like I am gonna have a bibliographer. My “juvenal” period is almost twenty years of half start and a few gems worked up from the rough. Journals from the early 1980’s where I am working out astrological and numerological theories in relation to the cross of the directions. Dreams. Odd sheets I type on the back of with heavy Smith-Corolla of yesteryear in small rooms I passed through like light, fell, slept.
In the evening, J and I drive down to Raleigh—the day has been blessedly cooler and the sky is almost perfect summer and a breeze—we hear Iris Dement twang holy Arkansas gospel duende and the crepe myrtle holds its deep passionate magenta long into the gathering dark.
sad folded on the back of 70’s posters typed scaffolds
littered back over field and sky are supposed to be open,
in some sense, to invention or “first thought”
bulbous insert into a packed house (drawn three of spades
is flat out being swallowed
which is what the dance last night was
dog-eared page limits a flickered film frame I use to collect high school
leapt high into the over head cafeteria as segued garage heroes
churn out Jumpin’ Jack Flash all by myself
an attempt at mythic show did not translate other than
some background mural you walk your children past
an abandoned barber shop and other relic indirect such as
a “community center” plastered with
ads against microwaves & macrobiotic flour
is about what I get back to here
I am supposed to be confident about “digital poetry”
stale breath in frame.
You’re gone away Ma I am
at the edge of this talk to,
folded you have over your arm—
your goneaway I was fifteen
and already felt Gomorran badge
the lot I had to throw down
on the last penny carpet
as my applause—
I am left thin with as then and haunted
I could not be cheat in the “long form”—
sparrow tails and cloud hand wash
did not draw me up after into the archetype
nor red thread muse; the pin in my hip caught
what reflected your dove brown skin as
adored pebble stream.
this day is about sheared branches and gutters under a hot mid-day I hope I lose weight stretched up at the top of the yellow ladder a saw in my hand I try to keep from getting pinched
is a mint-yogurt sauce poured over kabab lamb (which is the least ecological of meat I read since sheep are so devastate in a field)—little rams run gambol about we are gonna kill all I guess to solve this efficiency issue (and make extinct) someone is gonna say is why Jewish Priests chose a lamb to offer God, clever environmentalist underpin logic, same as why Muslims don’t eat pork is psychic leap to trichinosis—all them world-wasting little lambs in their close crop pillage we’ll keep a few, mind you, in zoos to be Green
ah is pitiful to complaint my hair,
orchards I dream are not immortal residue
since I should figure that—you somehow missed
how fate’s jaws in my side, Ma
were worth an argument w/God
as a lot to foreshadow and anticipate
I will somehow live until I die—
you stood there in the doctor’s office hand to head, Ma,
yelled “who will help me? who will help me?”
put my son in McLean Hospital maybe meat James Taylor
but over silence that doctor and I had already agreed
what the problem was
I was likely hallucinate but already dead as I been saying
there was no getting equal or God to give more but my heart
What my temper ruins is having eaten too much
since the waltz was absent for so long; what my temper
ruins is what clay is its natural; I am supposed to wait for that
each day is already too long.
I’ll go accused okay and he can laugh he got over on me is satisfying
is an actual fact and not a way of feeling you are to echo.
This cannot survive the autumn silent since dead,
hung epaulet from my shoulder a long tress
visible when I try to speak to the class, visible when I
look special as audience—ear I am marked with as gathering dust,
alcove in the forget of the talk and slipped faces—
is having ruined chance at Jocasta Ma called hubris
when I said I was pretty maybe someone’d love me for
she wanted to remind me, “Not yet”.
oh Monday of my sleep deprived but not-stared-at-porn remonstrance; Candy works my costal seam (somehow pursed lips along the edge of my left ribs, as if a torn apart or heal is left as a lip or scar bent against my direction) in the day dream visit & I drive back through Kackalack forest into town to errands
the late day is after a so deep-long 4 PM nap I am able to be almost helpful at the pre-conference meeting and perhaps distract each person from how miserable (mean, foreclosed, contempt) I am to be excluded from the elect to be a part of—Fred’d say was not true I want him to show me where exactly I belong in that public he will lie to pass on—that digital “space” somehow different from the floor next to my bed in the futurity of both he imagines
they’s so cool they were doing it before instead of it’s the same game chump they ghost dancers all
least I suspect in my lonely “there has to be some other way” than making the rich feel good long enough they shut their eyes to somethin’
I am in the reduced position, Ma, was not a tryst after all
that imagination is part God’s her dispersal and sometimes light
we were never able to talk directly about
the many confusions that remained—
between us was a required English civility I
would have had roses you perhaps appreciate
at least a saturate that would leak buttery personas
for others when my feelings get shown otherwise
so mirrory, so ugly do we have to talk about &
I am trying to hide
you are showing me David?
See how the words thread-like I can read backwards number nine &
the more philosoph would respect and want to emulate complete?
in the peaceful silent ten-year old room
no one could look at my face and sense
The understory here is more than lack:
Frère Jacques, ain’t whole up Frère Jacques,
or botched wit’ well cap “symbol”, as like
al Hallaj weren’t ‘fraid o’ ta place ov language
her porch table over yar—a wound unsolved set theory
cannot stitch—murmurs and morning dove coo
marks establish the way you throw a pitch
found repeated is suspense or silence,
attention’s torque—hence all the leak
under your door Ma remains urge of tomorrow,
a new distal when five fools sequence
(did you get the blue poles?) I understood
from how you’d glide in red thought down
the dwindled hallway as a welcome stain.
after last nights meet, I spiral today, spit “collaborative” I am done the dishes and have to write, the past in type-written forgot now stowed back in file, floor a bit farther to clean
muse that collaborative is just newest language “family” “king” “the people” “democratic” put forward in a dream of the better, but as ever, the rich and the would-be-sovereign are quick to figure a deployment that undoes the future &
reinstates the same-same
bruise it about I cannot imagine the digital is better than cave paint at redress of this violence we do so satisfied and made-righteous—you can hope but its just a real estate shuffle and bad schoolyard
Spilled out as if the rain that fell when Milarepa died
appeared in several places and times as if, no longer
responsible to his bones and limit skin his radiance once
like electric induced precipitates of varying kinds
I didn’t talk to the fishing bum & instead rode
back down King St & lost the book off the back
of the bike—moments like these seem like errors
but are actually how the seed is planted
we are between several times who agree to live time
sequential in this cascade we call limb and heart
towards the end, the fish might jump from the pan
back into the stream, but even then its already happened
how can I say Ma how waiting through so many hours’ curtains
was like—sometimes I was not surprised that the sun’s edge
crossed my lap, sometimes I’d sleep—I was gathering up
against the tide some kind of fence-like in the washed over otherwise.
The week does rise up and saw the sky,
sway and peak and spread I call pulse
underdream does not interrupt; his being sociable
shares incomplete, a chorus was blind
not Tiresias was what struck me on
a close read, but who am I to tell you
the masses have no reason to offer Oedipus
a suggestion. In a contrast of vogues
a coastline emerges as unfinished topic
we might have stretched out over us
like the night sky, a blanket,
now sawn by sound’s reverence
a cool mist that comes apart
as it spreads out over.
even in a daily text, where the point is record, there are things one cannot yet say—there are secrets, cards held in a seven of cups reverie; “the children do not need to know” where heartbreak occurs in the understory—I promise to write a page for a day Ma but I make no promises about the disasters that might occur along side the track I dig in the sand; I am in several plays at once, and I read the stars and brood you might say mistaken over the implicate that is perhaps a more certain outcome given the echoed support of a series of pointed dreams
that’s the way I read time anyhow and I am not always able to keep my awareness of the gathering design—its development, communal desires falling in line—out of my body & so anyone close would notice what I am beginning to anticipate, just as when I close the cabinet too hard or leave a bill unpaid, my relation to the nevertheless material is noted
Ma, I dreamt you were determined to kill yourself and Dad
and hysterical cartoon drove the VW bus in reckless towards
circling walls of an underground garage w/pillars (o’ Samson?)
we could careen—not unlike the bear out on the front lawn—
Jeffery pointed out—eating its way through an enormous pile
of shit (either a suggestion or how way of showing me how he
had me trapped) I dream bears a few times—the one that crushed
Barbara in a hug on Barriemore Ave. front yard, the one whose leg
I found I was sitting on and got up off quick the year my back
and sciatica began to heal & the terrible one rushing behind us
tearing off the latches to all the temples so that the doors
were sealed—you had Teddy Bears all over the house, barecloth
John and grey Heinrich & I always love the Grimm where
the red girl and the white came out their little woods house
to find a bear that talked: my bears are more difficult, have
something in their throat that lifts their head into a snarl
and put upon fury—not exactly to have on your pillow,
but honest for all that
There was a dream I had been before
in which our difficulty was
a beautiful awakened
separate in such different lives—
you in a Carly Simon city of bright second story
rooms in a light Boston rain; I out in some before-town
I have to work at and there is no explanation
no image but the narrated positions that are
now our accompanists; the bad light
repeated in stereo over several nights;
a chordal emphatic in leafs, worry—
I am sorry I dreamt
not yet possible.
Jacqueline Rose on Rosa Luxembourg’s letters says the future must be a question to make sense of revolutionary socialist thought—is half a corrective I think as I lay back in somatic complaint—is sensible only on the inside where the problem is a too shaped notion of the inevitable socialist future (blonde profiles by the green off-set tractor overcrossed by red and black letters) whereupon we say the future mysterious is the more true and grappled open
but at this time in the conversation we have now not then, to speak of mystery is to invoke again the spectre of the possible authority of constant revolution as neo-con-esque untroubled by the bad facts of famine and other etc evidence of the socialist unlike, is to grant a different wand, one that erases rather than pries open, is my mistrust
I feel that, whether in search of a gas cap at auto zone or in discourse with the supposed enemies of capitalism I am among the dead or at least ever-asleep who are so alienated from their desire they cannot even begin to morally critique themselves—since criticism must start from what is seen on the table, what one sees in the text, as a horizon
it is no surprise that we sell the future at this point
my body weight becomes so heavy under the enormous dome of heat parked over Eastern vastness I depress into a tired knotted
so much is painted in the dark
I slipped along the edge of the trees
into the slightly more open
where the path reflected the night
its turns according to the ground
it fell across
almost as perfect as a kiss since similarly
a plainful edge makes touch where almost nothing
to walk in the too dark
where only grace
has its way
Love sat its late night yellow bird
near the throat of the day
in the never quite dark 70’s
green cinder-block soviet—
sometime before dawn I crossed
into your dream and mingled legs
sweated thin sheets wound twins
of thoughts and eyes and words—
since you’ve been there too
at least at the lip of the canyon
I shouldn’t have to say
there’s nothin’ better
the river so far below
you will someday die.
the newspapers are about the debt ceiling, this summer’s disaster porn, news a minute—I make a connection between Tea Party and the Casey Anthony trial, how the “not guilty” verdict was theatre for the idea the government can’t deliver justice—I say you lie long enough you have a whole generation who try to make your lie real it fits the world or not
Ma, I get this sense sometimes I have to write about the surface world, take a political stand or go out in the public square and make some kind of historic difference—the assumption being the writing I do here or anytime doesn’t actually communicate depth, the kind of depth I read to feel, you get off a good author, that builds up as an effect of form, that is the actual point of writing, that we make places of desire like that for each other
but maybe the assumption, Ma, is more I got used to the way you only read the surface literal, so much so that, years later, I am always asking people “do you know what I mean?” like a tic, since I have to assume
I don’t actual care so much about history and frankly the best days of my life were when I was falling in love with someone. Nothing equals it & I don’t know why anyone would rather be president than sit in a basement room on a roll-away looking through someone’s childhood pictures for the first time
Plainfully as time you take in the near
to share far off factories peaceful light
dark open landscapes hollowed by starlight
highways make possible—
I lived a life in the suggested room
a letter stretched out, so we do not always
need to be present, polite feelings embroider
your distance as if candlelit
the sill deep with veils loyalty wants
where the children ate and watched cartoons
small distracted plastic spoons
shape the edge of what is made close
to where the heart they have invented
becomes your written waiting.
wake early and sit with J to explain a thought connected with the dreams I’d had a few years back she was suddenly living in another city and I couldn’t get her to see what that meant—my dreams last night are coarse, one graphic sexual encounter after another I am interested to see if how graphic the dream will be, close ups? all this speculation going on while the scenes unfold—only later, in a second layer of dreams am I traveling again somewhere in the seaside city and cats I have to herd get back into the car
the day is hot again, over 100°—I finish Palimpsest in the late afternoon in a break between reorganizing bookshelves, passing my hands over ideas, stacks related to different projects, debris that will not sort
I talk to Bruce first time since March, hold my own—a strange day of putting things right and wrong
memory is at an ebb, as if Egret still the expanded rippling fading out away from the dock pilings; summer’s in Massachusetts had only a few days of thick pause, the air more troubled and passing, whereas here in North Carolina there are weeks it seems where it seems as if there is no air or freshet change
a sense of the Appalachian coast, whether clambored rocks and laurel, now past bloom, past blueberries to the north, or the massive continuities of the highways scrawled from Augusta to the great piled knee of Chattanooga and spilled out ripple east into the lower gracious and small patches of so lively pavement in too dense to depart city clamor—the harsh wetland exchange of ship and oil and air where we pile against the edge of harbor and sea
this is not a people, but a land whose repeated argument we fashion and remake in the great songs of tenement and Wyeth brown afterthought—effervescent encrustaceate colonies glown in the night where “pier lights are carnival lights forever” in great ragged, transient flags
its almost that my instinct is that to hear place is to hear America singing, that the humble of the public square has no mythic purchase and is lost like bird song to its work, that in the shout and great gas jets endlessly released in dance and hum are an exhalation, prostrate demand that in this giving one could woo grace
as if grace could ever be wooed, whose place occurs despite
Remonstrative orchestra of witness
that would call salt of fragrance
as residual collect, the out risen shore
impent and shifted in its avenues
would take into its ateliers and stalls,
on its carpets and offer tea and muse
would open windows back on the asked air
would, even where perfume was gone,
set bowls of water, to articulate the air
set sills and conclusions and sighs
ghosts of sisters and sons
whose telluride glint in the after red sun,
in the long gone Harlem and Hoosac light
still calls for the sweetcakes of wedding.
J is in and out of the house today from church to the service for her Mom at Jean’s early evening & I am steadily at home with the work of sorting my office and books, darted out myself to finish the NY Times puzzles and read Sunday—
there’s news of a particularly well-planned and evil massacre in Norway, directed at politician families by one lone rightwing nationalist Christian
as surges of violence—and meanwhile there’re pressures to make TV a “walled garden” with limited pay access that is (supposedly) what the consumer wants which is a way of saying “want it like we aristocrats want or you can’t have it” (“it’s so easy to switch between devices of our home theatre, why would anyone criticize our culture?” she says, we can barely hear through the saran wrap and Tupperware seal she is required to wear as a veil whenever she is domestic)
a narrowing you came to Ma
as your last child grew into imagination’s body
and we outsized Cleveland—
you were given back New England, but
your body, shuttled by errands,
the fast impacts of colts’ feet on the stairs,
you made room for like rain
meant a sleep gradually in the so much to do
spread your now dappled body
pebbled as water, poured out over you idea,
was just evaporate you had no time to drink
I get this as threshing
as a body given simple to weather
the diamond of five children
rolled over to cap the well
you stepped off history’s carousel into the blouse
made miniature hope of McCormick spice tins rayed
on light brown sugar plastic
Lazy Susan in the cupboard
“It is just goldenrod again” you reminded us,
stacked Bakelite dishes by the stainless steel, an apron
limped in apple blues and reds, embroids a
domestic proof as emblem,
you knew from a look out the window
no matter what was being sold
that the body does not change the seasons
that stop it—
you knew from the thimble, the prick that steals
the scene from any curtain hung to charm the gaze,
turns it darker and guilty as a fairy tale
the cost of sleep or service.
In your bright, accomplished portrayal
of the seasons, you told the cost.
AM seems animate almost too bright white sharp change but body heavy with a dense sad mourn working me in a different grain “I’ll go down to the field awhile” not yet ready to give up the summer Cancer lull for the more piled and crowned August Leo fires
in which all fall begins to kindle and crowd its colors
in the familiar morning float between the desk and bathroom—ideas flock and questions: I want to push back against Olson’s use of Whitehead whose sense of a material past gives Olson a ground for the push of proprioception because this past is ever, in stone, determined as layer & I am so deep both in my own unearthed (unbelonging) memory and in H.D.’s sense of a folded, conversant past in which active haunt occurs as a second mode of intention, against time’s grain, to see structure in Echo (perhaps to bring her out from behind the tree to talk) where one plunges into, rather than out of, repetition
can Olson account for the fold? the way a field lays on weight? doesn’t Whitehead fail to track a second movement we attempt to say as gravity, that cannot be reckoned into electricity?
what Rilke may be saying when he speaks of the feeling the rises when a happy thing falls
there was the gift of childhood—one enjoyed the world
despite your object lesson—you stood in a nice coat
at the door, that you imposed rules and were otherwise a fence
drawn like Scorpio stoops over south, sky in summer,
drawn the way figures recede into walls—a warning in symptoms
episodic mucus and a need to bathe, to wash off into white,
to steep, our most fragile and prisoner thin, what clothes cover
we would otherwise be trapped in mercy
how broken the day under its veils we would not consider
Work to do wasn’t at the kitchen window but mine was,
to make saint of it, despite the narrow angle of sky;
your reduced profile (still so beautiful against the remembered
evening dark) let down into color
the beginning of art—
beyond the edges of the page, animate traces
tracked like scents among particulate
granular resolutions of gesture—
out of against was more than swords that bound
anima, more than arms in a sea
was a possible approval, cast fisher’s net
even I, wound on the tacky linoleum sparkles
could begin to know
the balancing weight of shadows.
We should be in mourning past mourning, given the news of mendacious chin thrust I am should be in community with, the so obvious who speak in strophes, all speech as strophe, as step, is, unless the wild idea of an actual world so takes hold, one uses strophe against its grain, like a long reed poked into an ant hill, or an oak branch one waves into the darkness of a cave.
The some simply will try to take everything they can, though some prefer to avoid confrontation and some enjoy the energy expended thrill, and some are rich enough to take a good deal, and to take more, and to brag about it—they are permitted to talk about it at all hours to anyone without censure because they have a lot and it might be a good thing to stand close to them.
And some are told as often as they are born that they can have what they want, or that everyone fights for what they want, and they see endless rehearsals of just that pose and the way it gets Nicole Kidman to fix her gaze (so different from the distracted stare she used as a leitmotif to play Virginia Woolf). They run on the playground and want to win too, their little bodies turned knife-edged in hurtle, and they’d push someone over and be praised, because its okay to want more, to be a hitter, scramble on the make.
where was face isn’t mine, lot given to me by others selects
“we can hurt him” on some evident tell, or that she was proud
they had something in the basement perhaps folks could sense
a share was on the table, God does that, gives to others through
a gift to someone else to give—since it was not mine I had no face
to take back, I was as faceless as the sun at night
in “among”: a mass does not care for its particulars and is
momentum at best—I grew up in 1960 so it was not yet clear that
community was not conscious
Goes down into the music slow cannot reprise
a year defeats as longer than feeling can
I break the words into pieces of twine for bondage games
does not satisfy my desire to say.
Goes down into the larger work of what’s so deeper
my small window on Paris and de Nerval’s star elect
is elusive “come down to dinner” in denial
is a bad version of Brazil—O Eurydice
Goes not even rocking softly without release,
goes without Saturday Afternoon blue
work shoes suggest.
Goes down into too far down into
goes murmured too down to come back
far too far down into.
7/26/11 (a doubled day)
the softest lap of the shore is alright and could carry a day though we are into “The Sun Also Rises” which is not a Van Gogh (or even close no matter what they put on the cover) & I am no longer even sure of the plot or setting—
soon August will start to add red into the umbra of the trees, as if the crepe myrtle had left afterprint shadows of the earlier sunsets to some—
I could never write for TV except to edit since I go to this pastoral in thought eddies and side wash & there are barely even people; all their bright desire too incandescent to be floral, invisible electric that rises from a touch I am too awed by to even flirt—
did you know I was a landscape boy, Ma, you sent me out to play? wind painter and one-time kesin who bound back the wings of his hair? in the sky of all the times I was not coming back to?
what is memory of any of her is coordinates
she was doing threesomes Pablo Picasso wasn’t called
but danced up to me anyway
or called from Eugene, so travel, and I was used to
shared thoughts at a distance
could constitute a friendship—
I had to return to lay my face against bare ground where
several years passed in wild lettuce
what did not belong in the close world of my body
didn’t stop me from dreaming
gone on ahead with the difference
He wants it as an extract he could maybe sell
I am overly proud of that God gives in stone to wear
let loose. Another is suspect I press so hard at
the adjacencies and disrespect of his auger
but I am tired of the old men, the dark malevolent
wind chants punned in wish
would steal the daughters in ha ha
and prefecture out of alignment what son’s loyalty
— the pretty boys who will take the lash—
Isis can only take the boy out of the father,
the father is lost in the salt winds evaporate
and forever under a blue sky
she is left to make season of
the wings’ residue
conversations go well among women, but more awkwardly. over the course of the day, with the men, as if my basic move of relating was so strange to a guy as to be unnecessary or aberrant—Pete stares me across the table to say something like “but it wouldn’t work if it was a place just for you (me) to say what poetry was” similar to when he spoke on the long Feb. drive about resenting men who wanted to learn him—I made a note in my mind because that was coming from somewhere, even though I asked “do you think that’s where I am come from? and he said no
a few days later I will pick up that maybe there’d been some discussion of my decision to talk one-on-one at which what will never be said to me was said, but who knows?
repetition is left of memory if only in the whirlwind of sequence
as spell follows the logic of bracket, brace clustered florets
is again where I am arriving and you, at this corner of the dream
where the task becomes packing or a similar transverse
is familiar for the reader to offer a profile or face we don’t
have to work against in the undine light
Ma had given over light for the small things
worked All over the fabric and thought of stitches
to mark the billows she settled into
twilight with children underquilt in the upstairs
green emerald horned glasses unlike Iris,
of cat’s milk in thigh
slightly larger in layers of Germany
that gather over Easter—
almost a symbolic expression
I made out of substance to set up limens
paste her picture to the door to close it
sew her thoughts in the azaleas and quince
at the edge of the outside, mark her dark
I put up against the sun.
I could listen to Lucinda Williams go through her song book for hours—in close summer twilight and dancing to catch my breath at the end; a bump on my knee and a scrap on my shoe from I guess collisions with concrete while she sings “Blessed”
I am up too late and nerve thin today, though there appears to be a tolerance for the excess, a bottle of Malbec spilt on Helen of Egypt which reads incandescent in twilight before the shore, the show, hieroglyph — I decide I don’t need to read the italics explanatory intros as the text is quite clear if you’ve been reading along—we are at a beach, there is a temple, a priestess and a warrior and they are, in their relation, trying to work out war, the death of masses of people, lost, become radio signals
the wine stains the pages blue
no way to be free of Ma, any of us little birds
Is not exactly to be explained justified
or specific you could cancel
is not known by the evident
chimes of freedom
cannot be said other than with crosses
you must make dimension to scale
the circumstantial florets
as stain would define our hollows
cannot be talk about on our backs to
a speculate ceiling of news or
prepared mat of tea, emblem
grift in between indulgence
cannot be backchained to arisen
or smoked yellow at dawn
I am not to write about yesterday’s mash-up with Fred, but will pull a thread along his throw at me I act like I know stuff other people don’t; am over the course of this year realizing is actually true I see time different and relate across it different than sensate drip I don’t have to explain but will evoke anger—I say I lose anyway and dragging my mark is part of what makes
perhaps this is the dread bear of last year’s dream gone back across my party’s tracks to close all the refuges behind me by destroying their locks we will not be able to access
haven otherwise, the day is a long reach that folds this tent—places at the table don’t change, aren’t mine to give or take
I said to Shehryar, the problem with asceticism is that you cannot make God allow you to see him/her—nothing but grace and no where a grace mechanical, whether aura or fall (only that in machines too, of course, the transient perfume)
took the box of journals from highschool
writ in Shaefer fountain pen pastel inks and purple
the circling about in three spiral and one
ledger bound eye record of 1st hitch cross Canada summer 1975
and some other I guess from the outriggings
of my Brechtian spring 1977 in a box I
carried to the Longfellow bridge walked out
halfway to Kenmore and threw them over
to sog up against and become slow refuse
cardboard eroded and become separate
up again the Museum of Science dam
bear the Mystic
I tell this later to slim pony-tailed graceful
stone soup poet on a bus, he says “man
you really want to be famous”
I guess cut to the chase
a bad purple want the sky cannot fill
in the morning I was somewhere else again Ma
and the leaving hurt against the architecture
I was never gonna find someplace real
the bagel shop door
had a chain to catch its flung &
I adore sesame and poppy respite—
let’s say the butcher block furniture suggested
a brief wiped-down erotic—
to remind myself of death,
real or not; I tried to imagine this as
rendezvous, but ended up hearing
Northamptonshire in my breath—
as I was still supposed to lay the leaves
out in the sun to dry.